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How do I get out pet vomit from a rug?

By Dr. Laundry March 7, 2016

Q:  How do I get out pet vomit from a rug? A: Vomit stains on clothing that come out pretty easily with the proper treatment before washing are such a pain when they are on something like a rug that you can’t easily launder.  Our old dog with the sensitive stomach has helped me develop my skill set on this stain. Here’s what I have found to be effective:  
  1. Use a metal spatula to scrape up the vomit from the rug before blotting the area with a white towel or wash cloth.  You want to get as much of the vomit off the rug because the less stain you have to deal with the better.
  2. Add a tablespoon of liquid Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster to a gallon of warm water and stir to disperse the Clorox2® to make a cleaning solution.
  3. Soak a clean white wash cloth in the cleaning solution and then wring it out.  It should be damp but not dripping wet.
  4. Spread the cloth over the palm of your hand and then gently rub it back and forth over the stained area.  The vomit will transfer to the wash cloth.  Working with a white wash cloth is helpful because you can easily see your progress, plus you can just toss it in your next bleach load when you are finished.
  5. Reposition the wash cloth so you are working with a clean area and repeat rubbing the stained area. You many need more than one wash cloth depending on how bad the stain is.  Once you stop seeing any stain transfer to the wash cloth, you are finished and hopefully you got it all—when the stain is fresh you have the best chance of success.
  6. Rinse a clean wash cloth with clear water and rub the stained area at least one more time to rinse the area.
  If you still have discoloration on your rug after the treatment and it is a large area rug, then you may need to rent a rug cleaner to steam clean the stain and the rest of the rug while you are at it.  Smaller rugs can be washed in a front loading clothes washer with detergent and Clorox2®–I do this with a braided rug and it turns out really well.  With my dog, the vomit varies.  It can be anything from the meal she just ate or the water she just drank (especially if it’s too cold) to stomach acid for no particular reason.  She is 14 ½ years old so we just count our blessings that she’s made it this long and I keep cleaning up after her.  I hope this is helpful; please let me know if you have any other questions, and how it goes.   –Dr. Laundry